LOS ANGELES – Instead of walking across the stage at graduation, this year’s graduates are walking into a scary job market. With more than 38 million Americans filing for unemployment, how is a recent college grad supposed to find a job in their field? One word: Networking.
Los Angeles native and Boston University 2020 graduate, Ethan Zakarin is ready to enter the job force. But in the year 2020 that comes with a very different experience than past graduating classes.
“The freedom you anticipate you have in college and then it’s like you’re going to go back to your parent’s house for the last couple months of school,” said Zakarin.
Zakarin is one of the 14 million college students affected by the pandemic when their universities shut down.
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A great four years and unfortunately it came to a bit of an unexpected ending.
So what now? Nearly 39 million Americans filed for unemployment — how is a recent college grad going to find a job?
Step one: Find your passion.
“I’d have kids come up to me and say what’s the latest business I should be getting in to and I would say what do you love to do. And they would ask whats the latest and I would ask what do you love to do?” said Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization.
Step two: Create a plan, make a list.
First on that list is a sign of the times — take a look at your social media.
“Employers are checking your social media,” said Misner. “I remember interviewing somebody and I thought they were pretty good and then I checked their social media and oh my gosh! It was bad!”
Another list to make — all the people you know who can help you find a job!
Step three: Networking.
“Eighty percent of all jobs are found through networking. Go to the current relationships you have and just talk to people they could be neighbors friends, friends of your parents.”
Set up a call or Zoom meeting with them.
“The biggest complaint I would get from people when I suggested they network is, ‘well I don’t have time.’ Well you have plenty of time now!” said Misner.
Step four: Find a mentor.
“See if there is someone who is willing to mentor you in the field that you want to go in to.”
Zakarin has a degree in communications and is hoping to land a job in public relations or advertising. Doctor Misner says try a working interview. You suggest working for the company for free for a day or two.
“I’ve been working remotely for a few agencies just interning for them helping them. Trying to gain some experience make myself a better candidate whenever it is time,” said Zakarin.
It sounds like Zakarin is the latter — he already knows what Dr. Misner is hoping to teach to other recent grads.
“All you can do is work hard and reach out to people in the industry and just keep going,” said Zakarin.
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